Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Council cuts plan taken forward

Council chamber
The council will take its savings options out to public consultation

A list of potential local government spending cuts in Dumfries and Galloway is to go out to public consultation.

It follows a six-hour meeting of the full council during which all savings options were examined line-by-line.

The latest forecast shows the authority needs to fill a gap of about £3.5m in its finances.

However, savings options worth a little more than £5m have been identified and will now be taken out to consultation next week.

Council leader, Tory Ivor Hyslop, said taking forward all possible options was the best course of action.

"The debate in the council chamber centred on whether some of the more unpalatable options should be taken out now," he said.

"The majority view was that people should get the right to express an opinion on all the options that are currently on the table.

"It will then be for councillors to take these into account when constructing their budgets."

'Serious impact'

However, opposition Labour councillors criticised that approach - particularly moves which could see teaching and school support jobs lost.

Group leader Ronnie Nicholson said: "This will have a serious impact on the education of our children.

"Even worse, the administration refuses to confirm which schools will be hit so parents across the region will be worried.

"It's an outrage that this administration has rejected the calls of teachers, parents and the Labour group to save these teachers and protect our children's education."

The consultation period starts on Monday and runs until 18 December.

Final council budget plans are expected to be set in February next year.

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